Per this articleit does seem like a valid question.
This is largely my view too. If they do it in the Wonder-Woman-as-eye-candy style, not only will they be failing to provide a “superhero movie with a strong, solo, female protagonist” but it’ll be stupid. Stupid like Catwoman. Conversely if they go for the empowered-female version the Comic Book Guys of the world will like it less but the wimmenfolk still won’t see it. The best you could do it to get Joss Whedon or someone similar to do it - the post-Buffy “ironic hipster” vibe could bring in the fanboys (and fangirls) without requiring the red-gold bustier outfit. And no freaking “invisible plane”. That’s always been dumb.
It’s hard to unlink superheros from their outfits and female superheroes have pretty much always been drawn in an exaggeratedly sexy fashion. And no one takes the WW redesign that seriously. Really you’d have to start from scratch with a new style of superheroine. How about a female version of Rorschach? That’d make an interesting movie.
I believe the Wonder Woman movie has been in ‘development’ or ‘development hell’ for several years.
And Tomb Raider as proof that women can headline action movies? Really? Those movies sucked and the second did very disappointing business.
A few ideas…
Wonder Woman in non-comics media is generally portrayed as a goody-two-shoes Superman-type character, and Superman has gotten a reputation as something difficult to do justice to in film form, but that lends itself extremely well to TV series-- more time to explore the human/superhuman dynamic. I can imagine that a lot of producers are just taking that simple “female Superman?” assumption and figuring it wouldn’t play. She also isn’t really known for her villains. I think one of the reasons Batman has been more successful in film is that he is defined by his interplay with “his” villains, including his own inner demons.
Wonder Woman in comics provides more nuances than the goody-two-shoes portrayal, but I’m not sure how eager movie execs would be to explore them. I think it would be risky-- and would turn off female audiences-- if the original bondage/discipline themes were played up in a 2 hour film. I think George Perez’s take, which borrowed far more heavily from Greek mythology, would be palatable, but it adds so much back story that it could make for another one of those boring and/or overly long “origin story” comic films that kill some franchises. Again, a TV show might be more appropriate to do an origin story justice. Nothing against Lara Croft, the Resident Evil series, et al., but the other film series with strong female leads don’t have to deal with 60+ years of history and an iconic/canonical origin story.
Then the cheesecake factor. She’s been established as a curvy girl since Perez’s run (she obviously had been curvy before, but artists just as often would show her as lanky). I actually don’t know too many women who object to her costume or curves (rather, complaints are usually about male artists going overboard in drawing her anatomy), but if you do the standard strapless bustier with a buxom girl in a live-action action film, you’re definitely running the risk of turning the movie into cheesecake fan service. Alter the costume and you’ll get howls from fans (witness the latest uproar over one proposed look that made her costume more realistic) and risk losing identification with the general public who still thinks of Lynda Carter. Go for a thinner girl, and you run the risk of offending people who don’t like Hollywood pushing thin-as-beautiful.
I think a TV show would probably be the best way to start, as a prelude to a movie; establish the Greek-myth origin story, even explore her darker side. (Yes, I think that it would be possible to touch a bit on the B/D themes a little better in the context of a season-long story, especially since she can reveal a dark side when her bracelets are removed.) Don’t bring out the iconic suit right at the start; she can build up from the gowns of her mythical upbringing, use the Wonder Girl/golden age WW outfits, and maybe debut the classic suit as the season closes. At the end of the season, segue into a feature film where the long-winded origin can be dispensed with in a couple of minutes, she’s established as a deeper character than “female Superman,” a darker B/D subtext won’t seem shoe-horned in just to titillate, and the costume won’t seem out of place. And hopefully have a good villain.
It can be adapted into something cool. I think there might be room for a Xena-style TV show, but it would be hard to sell a movie.
I agree with the linked article. Diana gets no respect because The Powers That Be don’t know what to do with her. Girl geeks aren’t reading her books; if my 17-year-old daughter’s friends are any indicator, the girl geeks are all reading manga.
Personally, I think Wonder Woman (and the other star-spangled heroes) work best in a World War II setting. I always felt she was at her best kicking Fascist ass.
As a plus to doing a period piece, the 1940’s- era costume, while daring for its time, hardly constitutes fanservice these days.
But my opinions don’t count, as I have managed to age myself out of the target demographic for most movies.
Wonder Woman isn’t owned by DC/Time Warner. The original creator of the character, William Moulton Marston struck a deal where he totally owned the rights to that character. His estate now owns the rights so anytime DC wants to do anything with the character outside of the comics there is a large amount of negotiations that go on. Apparently they are quite stubborn, which is one of the reasons she wasn’t in the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series.
Wonder Woman was part of both Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
Yeah, I screwed that up. She initially wasn’t which was why Hawkgirl was added but then at the last minute they reached an agreement with the estate. I read about that in a Bruce Timm interview some time ago. He was very specific about how hard it was to work out the rights to use the character. They had to authorize ever thing she ever was going to do in the show. He said they ended up doing some things with Shayera because they weren’t allow to do them with Wonder Woman.
Cut me some slack, it is early.
For some reason, DC just aren’t that good at making movies (despite being owned by warners). There have been a huge number of failed movie attempts, including several Superman (Nicolas Cage as Clark Kent?) and Justice League ones. Sounds like they are finally getting their acts together with the new Superman announced and Green lantern in production.
Several attempts at a WW movie have failed in the last ten years. Most recently, Joss Whedon was attached to it, but I think he fell out with Warners eventually. A lot of actresses have inevitably been associated with the role, including just about every woman from Buffy or Firefly, Megan Gale, the obligatory Megan Fox, and even Beyonce for some reason. I think he managed to at least cast an arm though (http://moviesmedia.ign.com/movies/image/WW1-lr_1111078638boxart_160w.jpg)
There is some of the concept art he came up with here…
Could look OK. I suspect that if she ever does make the big screen though, it will be part of a justice league movie, which might be no bad thing.
I can actually reference one of the comic book videos I like to watch:
Linkara’s Amazons Attack Prologue Note that, up until this point, he tried to keep from discussing continuity.
Anyways, this is a really good primer on who Wonder Woman is. He claims that people not knowing this is why so many things go wrong. She’s the Spirit of Truth. Not some generic Superman-wannabe bimbo who doesn’t understand our society. She is a feminist icon, but she’s not some haughty individual who needs to be brought down a peg.
And, yes the guy is corny, but it’s a good corny.
Wonder Woman strikes me as one of those characters who most people can identify on sight but most people know very little about. I avoided WW comics like the plague growing up because it was about a girl and girls were icky. While I’ve certainly changed my stance regarding girls I still never got into WW comics.
Now that’s an idea. Forget about Superman, bring in Indiana Jones. And the classic suit becomes about 2323675% more believable and wearable with just the addition of straps going, not to the back, but to her neck (like that white Marilyn bathsuit); still sexy as all get go, but you can actually picture someone doing backflips in it without falling off it.
I am a woman and find WW dreadfully boring and uninteresting.
What other female superheroines are there we could make a movie about? Arguable X-Men 3 could have been an ensemble dark horse for Jean Greay, if Wolverine’s crotch hadn’t obscured everyone’s view (and I do not mean that in a complimentary way).
Speaking of Catwoman, ISTR Halle Berry complaining about falling out of her ridiculous (strapless) outfit while doing backflips during filming.
Funny, I avoided WW comics when I was a kid because they sucked.
That is a compelling question. The only one that I can think of that I’d be interested in seeing a movie about is Raven.
I think a TV show is a good fit for her, if done well. She was designed as a character for episodic storytelling, not a novel. I’ve thought this since the mid-1990’s, & the feature film project has been in development hell all that time.
A movie would probably want to have her origin, which is probably the weakest thing about her. (I could write an origin movie for her, if I could write, but that’s after years of mulling it over.)
This. Every red-blooded American knows the basic outlines of the Superman mythology as well as his powers, even if they aren’t fans. But, aside from hardcore fans, how many people know very much about Wonder Woman’s story. It’s quite telling that most people’s knowledge of the character comes from the Linda Carter series in the 70s, which wasn’t even that faithful to the comics.
Presumably, this was only a problem because the studio wouldn’t stump up the extra half mill
This is no longer true. And she was in both of those things. DC purchased the Wonder Woman rights from the Marston estate several years ago. And my understanding of the situation even before that was that DC actually had the rights to use her as they pleased, but that the Marston estate had a reversion clause - basically, if DC stopped publishing the Wonder Woman comic for longer than a certain period, the rights reverted to the estate. DC cleared up even that part of it in the last decade, though.
Wonder Woman’s movie, as others have stated, is in development hell. Just this week, though, a potential Wonder Woman TV project was announced, associated with producer David E. Kelley.